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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Night of the Hawk by Lauren Martin is a collection of the author's original poetry, consisting primarily of free verse poems but also incorporating occasional sprinklings formatted in epistolary, list, and even one in the classical ode style. Each poem exhibits its own distinctive length, tone, and tenor and conveys a message unique to itself. ÒSun Wè Mímó invokes the Yoruba goddess for purification and forgiveness, leaning toward themes of renewal and abundance. Tuesdays looks into the aftermath of a significant loss, symbolized by a red leaf, conveying a mix of sorrow and difficulty in acceptance. Chattanooga expresses admiration for another artist, celebrating the shared love for creativity and the resonance found in mutual experiences. Throughout the collection, Martin offers diverse emotional landscapes and experiences, gifting readers with a variety of poetic forms and insights.
Lauren Martin gives us a masterclass on what it means to convey thematic richness and emotional depth in contemporary poetry in Night of the Hawk, displaying the versatility of both form and function. We get intimate glimpses into Martin's personal experiences and emotions, organically fostering authenticity and relatability. For example, Mother serves as a heartfelt tribute, celebrating a mother's resilience and imparting wisdom with sincerity. For me, I most appreciated the works that address social issues, such as feminism, environmentalism, and societal expectations. Yemoja Speaks to Scott Pruitt, which confronts environmental concerns using the voice of a deity to advocate for the protection of the oceans and marine life, was my favorite and the standout for me. Overall, Martin delivers a beautiful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking body of work that will delight those who take the time to absorb it. Very highly recommended.